Close the Digital Divide
The digital divide is the product of systemic inequities and power imbalances that must be addressed, amongst other measures, through agile governance frameworks and public investment in digital infrastructure together with digital literacy building. It goes beyond inequalities in access to the internet, and includes differential access to the tools, information, technologies, skills, capacities and agency in driving the direction of digitalization.
There are also important facets embedded within this divide that include gender, age, income, language and culture that must be considered. As such, efforts to usher an access revolution to close the digital divide must include a number of parallel investments. First, addressing pervasive biases in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) that have ripple effects throughout the digital ecosystem (e.g. algorithmic bias, lack of representation). Second, shifting resources, financial incentives and talent funnels to promote Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in STEM. Third, directing investments towards increasing availability and affordability of digital infrastructure where access is currently limited. A whole-of-society approach is necessary in order to leave no one behind.